Thursday, March 24, 2005

22 + 26 = 48, 48 / 2 = 24

Simple equation showing the average of Stoker’s age and mine. This is important now, because Sunday I turn 27. After that I’ll have to wait until November 9th to feel the gap close again.

I know it doesn’t matter. Or shouldn’t. But it does. We will always be four and a half years apart. Sometimes it will sound like 4 years and sometimes it will sound like 5 years.

I’ve only ever ‘dated’ a younger man one other time. When I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend, Nick, (I went by Nik or Nikki then, so . . . funny and stupid) was a sophomore, but he was only a year younger than me. And he wasn’t really a ‘younger man.’ He was a boy and really acted like it and we broke up the summer after I graduated because I got mad at him for peeing over the side of his father’s sailboat, which bothered me because the boat had a bathroom on it, and another sailboat full of onlookers sailed by while Nick was taking care of his business. They waved. I fumed. Anyway, he said I was intolerant and we were over, but give me a break, I only have sisters and am not desensitized to things boys do that only boys can consider normal (Stoker knows this). Before we broke up, we had in common fantasy books (Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, et. al) and mountain biking. Then Nick joined the Navy after he graduated from high school and I’ve only seen him once since. We weren’t on the same wavelength, nor anything close. I don’t miss him.

Stoker is younger, but he doesn’t feel younger. Before I met him, I was mildly interested in this other 21-year old, but in my head he felt younger and I’d hear myself say, “He’s cute. BUT he’s 21.” And it never went anywhere. Besides, his mother was my 3rd grade teacher and so in my mind he’s always that little boy I helped to shoot baskets on the playground.

Enter Stoker (his real name). The first time we did something together—Sunday dinner at his parents—I kept thinking about the age gap. Awkward. I remember dishing up casserole or something, his mother asking me what I was studying in college and my response that I had actually just finished my M.A. I remember a cold panic, when she asked me how old I was, and my hesitant/laughing answer. There was comfort in the realization that this wasn’t a date, but a friend thing. We were just friends. What a relief. But then, somehow I ended up looking through his photo album, all the pictures of him from elementary school to high school and after. Something about his eyes and his smile.

Anyway it was over after that. We’re on the same wavelength. We have in common guitars, a love of knowledge, laughter, a similar sense of humor, and good conversation/ideas.

My next post will NOT be about Stoker. I promise.

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